By Bob Booth
The book of Job is found in the Jewish scriptures; the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It is written in the form of a drama that is set in Heaven and on earth. Job is a good man, wealthy and happy with a large family, but then disaster strikes. The suffering that Job endures raises questions about his life and faith.
Painters are familiar with the discomfort of questions as they watch the development of their paintings. A problem that at first seems straight forward turns out to be protracted and bewildering. Each attempt to rectify it only results in further disintegration, leaving the artist feeling powerless and with no answer, and no apparent reason for the absence of an answer.
Although one could be forgiven for feeling that the absence of answers at such times indicates that the process is fundamentally without right or wrong, this is not true.
Job faces the onslaught of suffering by acknowledging his vulnerability, and although there is a process of reasoning about his situation, the force of the message of Job seems to come from experience which lies outside all of these arguments.
For me there are moments when a painting suddenly and unexpectedly becomes whole and right, and these qualities seems neither affected by its shortcomings, nor justified by its virtues. This I believe is because there are principles in painting which are deeply embodied in the creative process. These principles are not easily explained or understood, and cannot be reduced to a set of rules, but they are perceptible and ‘followable’. This painting was influenced by scripture Job 42: 6.